Monday, December 24, 2007

SAR 7359

Ideas are like children, if you think one's yours,
you love it uncritically.

Ludlum: The government is far more incompetent and amateur than the masterminds of Hollywood darkness. There are no rogue CIA agents engaging in illegal black ops and destroying evidence to protect their political bosses. Trust me, accepting a government paycheck does not transform you into Jason Bourn. I hardly made it to Matt Dillion status.

Plea Bargain: The CIA chief who ordered the destruction of secret videotapes recording the torture of Al-Qaeda suspects has lawyered up and is seeking immunity from prosecution. If you are the number 2 guy at the CIA, who could you point a finger at that would be worth granting you immunity? A GS7 trainee at Treasury? A former head of counter- intelligence at the Agency believes it is “highly likely” that Bush saw the videos.

Tube Socks: The Brits are planning to buy the US Navy's new version of the Trident missile to replace the aging missiles now on British subs. But the new Trident has a 125 inch diameter and the Brit's subs tubes are only 87 inches. Golly gee, maybe we can sell them 3 or 4 new boomers. Only $1.4 billion the copy. A half dozen would be good.

Piggy Banking: Three-month T-Bills pay 2.85%. Three-month bank certificates of deposit (CD) pay 5.0% . The spread between the two is 2.12%, highest spread in 20 years. Investors are so concerned about getting their money back after three months that they are willing to forgo a record 75% more income available through CDs. Safety first.

Fire Drill: Bush's retiring Homeland Security aide, Francis Townsend, says that White House is crippled because the staff are too concerned about getting subpoenaed to get much work done.

Family: Mitt Romney has come out very strongly against "illegal immigrants." Curious, in that his father was one. Was born in Mexico, brought into the US by his mother in 1912 as she and hundreds of other fled the Mexican Revolution. No immigration papers. No immigration process. No Ellis Island stuff. Just moved in. Kid grew up to be Governor of Michigan. Wouldn't want that to happen these days, right Mitt?

Payback : CNN's Ed Henry has a front row seat in the White House Pressroom along with Helen Thomas. Noted for her probing questions, Ms Thomas is hardly ever called on, even though she is "dean of the press corps." Lately Henry has been quite aggressive in his questioning of the Administration. At his year-end press conference, Bush did not call on Helen. He did call on all of the rest of the front row. Except for Henry.

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